Reverend Monster Says: 'Every Cloud of Decency Has a Toxic Lining'
Controversial Church Says It Won't Violate Funeral Protest Laws
from Associated Press
TULSA, Okla. - A Kansas church that spreads its anti-gay message by picketing at soldiers' funerals will obey new state laws that have been passed to prohibit these protests, a church attorney said Wednesday.
The Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church aborted plans to demonstrate at soldiers' funerals in Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin this past week. All four states have new laws limiting such protests.
"We're not going to get arrested. We obey the law," said Shirley Phelps-Roper, who is also a church member. "We're waiting until all the legislatures (sic)are over to see what tattered shreds they've left the Constitution in (sic)." [GW: Nice grammar for a hillbilly.]
Phelps-Roper said the group will eventually protest in states with the new laws, but it will find a way to obey those laws.
The church has outraged mourning communities across the nation by showing up outside soldiers' funerals with signs that read "God Hates Fags" or "God Made IEDs," a reference to roadside bombs. The group's message is that soldiers are being struck down by God because they're fighting for a nation that tolerates homosexuality.
Phelps-Roper called the lawmakers who have passed these laws "legislative Talibans" and said the church won $170,000 in legal fees when it successfully challenged a Kansas funeral protest law nearly a decade ago.
She said the group is considering mounting legal challenges to the new laws, which she said has drawn attention to the church and helped it spread its anti-gay message. At least 17 states have considered legislation this year restricting protest activities around funerals.
"We're thanking them kindly," she said. "They drew a huge amount of attention to our message, and that's all we're doing is delivering a message."